News In Focus
Law firms invited to bid for management skills support
Law firms across the UK are among those being invited to bid for support in developing management skills in their sector, in a competition launched today.
The UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES) is making a total of £4m available as part of the UK Futures Programme, an ongoing Government-backed programme to encourage employer-led solutions to persistent skills problems.
The competition is open to organisations in the legal, manufacturing, construction and financial sectors, and UKCES expects to invest up to £300,000 per successful proposal. Competitions are open for applications from individual employers, as well as collaborations of employers and social partnerships.
All proposals must be led and partially funded by major businesses, who will work with their supply chains or networks to address issues such as raising the capability of leaders and managers to align skills, job design and other workplace practices; boosting demand for good leadership and management skills; and increasing the opportunities for managers to interact with one another and learn from their peers.
Nigel Whitehead, group managing director of BAE Systems and a commissioner at UKCES, explained: “Our research shows that the UK lags behind its international competitors when it comes to management skills. That matters. It matters even more in the legal sector because it’s such important part of our economy. Good management practices boost productivity, staff engagement and ultimately drive economic growth. And while the UK’s best companies may be world-leading, the sad truth is that, generally, management capability in the UK’s law firms isn’t as good as many other countries, particularly the US.
“But improved management isn’t something that can be imposed on business. It needs to be led from within. That’s why we’re making up to £4m co-investment available to businesses to help them find innovative and effective ways of working with their networks or supply chains to boost management and leadership capability.”
The closing date for proposals is 30 July 2014. To find out more, including how to enter go to www.gov.uk/ukces. Application forms are available by clicking here.